An Antwerp company, HB Company, has been given the job of cutting and polishing a diamond for Louis Vuitton said to be the second-largest in the world.
The Sewelô diamond – the name means “rare find” – was found by Lucara Diamond Corporation in its mine in Botswana last year. It was bought by the French luxury goods group LVMH, owners of Louis Vuitton among other brands, for an undisclosed sum.
The stone, in its rough state, appears pitted and unassuming, covered still by a layer of black carbon. It weighs 350 grams, or 1,758 carats, just over half of the size of the largest uncut diamond ever found, the Cullinan diamond of 1905, which was cut into smaller polished stones including the Great Star of Africa, at 530 carats and the 317 carat Second Star of Africa, both of which are part of the Crown Jewels of the British monarch.
While it was not announced how much LVMH paid for the stone, the name of the company that will cut it has emerged as HB Company, the business behind Simply Sparkling, owned by the Seber family. That company last year purchased the Scientific and Technical Research Centre for Diamonds in Lier, when it went up for sale having lost the subsidy from the Antwerp World Diamond Centre.
Like the Cullinan diamond, the Sewelô – about the size of a tennis ball but six times heavier – will be transformed into several cut diamonds. Exactly how many is not yet known. According to Melissa Smet, director of the Syndicate of the Belgian Diamond Industry (SBD), “What makes this stone special is its mysterious nature. The stone is covered in black carbon, and the quality of the diamond under that layer remains a mystery. There is no guarantee that the diamond will produce precious stones of high quality, which means a great risk.”